It's Only Rock'n Roll
Tonight was killer. Everyone in the band was in a great mood. I can't say enough about Lisa. When she came out it seemed like she was already burning up. She danced and sang like she was the center of attention. She demanded attention with her fantastic performance. After enjoying four other Stones concerts late last year with Ms. Sheryl Crow dueting with Mick on Honky Tonk Woman, it was cool seeing Lisa stepping in and sharing the honors of singing with Mick. Of course her spotlight in Gimme Shelter was enough to send shivers through everyone's bodies.
The feature album tonight was Exile on Main Street. From that came Sweet Virginia and All Down the Line. But before Mick introduced that they played a song from Beggers Banquet. The song was No Expectations and for me, songwise, that was the highlight of the night. Watching them play this rare and beautiful number damn near brought tears to my eyes and definitely a lump in my throat. I almost felt like a little school girl as I stood there mesmerized by the feeling that the band put into the song and the beautiful sounds that I heard. Hearing and seeing this performed tonight was a rare treat that I will always remember.
After reading about Keith's new silver guitar I was hoping he would bring it out tonight. Sure enough when the time for Satisfaction came along he was playing his new guitar. It looked like a metal Telecaster but I'm not so sure it was a Fender. At any rate, it was cool looking and sounded great.
Lots of smiles tonight from every band member and generally enjoying themselves. Just two more shows here in America for them and then it's on to other countries. I think all of us who attended any of the shows should feel good right now knowing that we were there to assist the Great Ones in warming up their act for the rest of the world.
Thanks for the music guys, and come back SOON!
The band reflected the more subdued tone of the crowd, playing a number of slower songs with acoustic work and harmonies, such as "no expectations" which was sublime , and Sweet Virgina off the Exile on Main St theme, Like a Rolling Stone on the small stage, etc
Early on the sound was jumbled and the guitars were too low with drums and vocals a litte too high, but they got it worked out eventually. I saw Ron , Mick and Keith all making expressive comments to the techs throughout the night.
The band seemed a little tired, as who would not be with their frenetic pace as they reached the end of this leg of the tour. Lisa came in with shots of energy on Gimme Shelter and Honkey Tonk Woman and the crowd responded, giving it up for her.
Keith was as usual the consummate pro, ( not to mention the coolest guy on the planet) many times through the night coming in with leg kicks, ripping chords and licks and pushing songs to the next level. The new guitar he breaks out on Satisfaction catches the eye with its purple and silver body and he makes sure everyone knows he digs it.
Mick a couple of times spontaneously lept up into the air with joy, a move I have not seen through this tour. He also did his trademark focus on small sections of the crowd, whipping them into a lather at will.
I focussed several times through the night on Charlie Watts and am continually amazed by his steady, perfect, strong presence, providing the backbone that keeps it all together, all the while nonchalant.
Another vignette that so epitomizes the band was the sight of Ron Wood on the runway making his way to the small stage, stopping in front of a little boy, reaching into his pocket and grabbing a pick, pressing it into the boys hand and with both of his hands shaking the boys little hand, looking into his eye and saying something quiet and from the heart.
Another moment halfway through the show came when Keith flung out his pick which sailed high in the air and I lost it, then out of the corner of my eye saw something drop on my wife's shoe- in the 9th row- the pick! On one side, the Licks emblem, on the other side, RS 2002- what a souvenir!
What really impressed me was that the band could have mailed it in last night and they would not let the sound, the exhaustion, the Tuesday night get them down- you could really see Mick and Keith and Charlie and Ron and supporting cast working so hard, reaching in deep to make it a memorable night and succeeding as only they can. Last night was a testament to their professionalism and integrity, and all I can say is Thanks fellas for the ride!
Three songs really stuck out to me. No Expectations, which I heard for the first time last night (yeah I don't own Beggars Banquet), and was amazed at how beautiful a song it was. Then there was Keith's part of the show, I was fortunate to hear Happy in San Francisco, but I really wanted to hear Thru and Thru. Fortunately they delivered. To me, that is a great song, but is also a great song to hear live. The best part of the night was the 12 minute version of Can't You Hear Me Knockin'. That has got to be the best live song I have ever heard.
To sum it all up, I'll quote Sir Mick: "Tonight we're gonna be the Sharks in the Shark Tank."
The staging and lighting was astounding. The bright white lighting on "Satisfaction" with the rising and falling pairs of lights was really nice. The spots full on Charlie (which HBO missed) on his drum break are really effective. The red and green with blue lights on "Gimme Shelter" brought the psychedelic feel in. The B stage direct white spot lighting has the feel of a boxing arena, a great return to basic show feel from the huge stage lighting. The Stones tore up the house at this point. On "It's Only Rock and Roll," seeing 20, 000 people go "Whoo" and raising their arms in unison with Mick in the center of the house while the lights come up was really strong.
The Stones actually left the B stage though the audience on the floor, further enhancing the boxing ring feel of the B stage. Their one song encore on the main stage, "Jumpin" Jack Flash", was short but effectively sweet. The whole crew looked like they were a finely edited movie, and I did see the cameras filming as I understand Michael Apted is doing the film of the tour. The lighting creates a powerful staging effect that along with the sheer power of the band and the great songs makes for the best show I've ever seen. Wow!
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It's Only Rock'n Roll 2002 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe